Delineating COVID-19 immunological features using single-cell RNA sequencing

Innovation (Camb). 2022 Sep 13;3(5):100289. doi: 10.1016/j.xinn.2022.100289. Epub 2022 Jul 21.


Understanding the molecular mechanisms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pathogenesis and immune response is vital for developing therapies. Single-cell RNA sequencing has been applied to delineate the cellular heterogeneity of the host response toward COVID-19 in multiple tissues and organs. Here, we review the applications and findings from over 80 original COVID-19 single-cell RNA sequencing studies as well as many secondary analysis studies. We describe that single-cell RNA sequencing reveals multiple features of COVID-19 patients with different severity, including cell populations with proportional alteration, COVID-19-induced genes and pathways, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in single cells, and adaptation of immune repertoire. We also collect published single-cell RNA sequencing datasets from original studies. Finally, we discuss the limitations in current studies and perspectives for future advance.

Publication types

  • Review